Gradual Reintroduction of Visiting at NHS Grampian Sites

NHS Grampian consists of 3 local authorities – Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray. As part of the efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 each local authority has been placed in a tier.   

This means that NHS Grampian hospitals in different local authorities may have different visiting restrictions – depending on which tier they have been placed in.   

Please note that if your local authority area is restricted to essential visits only, you should not visit a hospital in any other local authority area unless for an essential visit and following discussion with staff from the ward/clinical area.

Visiting moves between tiers and is guided by the Scottish Government, but there may be times when we need to take appropriate measures to reduce transmission further, such as during a ward based outbreak or when an individual patient is COVID positive. In both these situations visiting will revert to essential visits only.   

For information specific to the hospital you plan to visit please to go the Visiting In Person section further down this page.

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Tier 2. Essential visits and ONE designated visitor

Moray. Tier 1. Essential and TWO designated visitors

We understand that close control of hospital visiting can have a significant impact on patients, families and staff and we want to make sure the risk of outbreak in our hospitals is kept as low as possible.  To do this we need your support.  It is of paramount importance that all visitors wear the appropriate PPE (including a hospital issued facemask), strictly follow hand hygiene guidance and do not visit if they feel unwell.  Even if you feel unwell but do not think you have COVID, we ask that you don’t visit the hospital and find other ways to connect with your loved one – including Virtual Visiting (see section below for more info).  We recognise the importance of conversation, and a compassionate approach, to each individual case and ask that you contact the nurse in charge to discuss what is achievable and can be supported in the ward / clinical area within current national restrictions before your visit takes place.

Please be aware there are many factors that can cause the times and frequency of visits in each area to differ, such as ward size and layout, or the number and vulnerability of patients. COVID-19 is easily transmitted and we must pay careful attention to maintaining infection and prevention control measures to protect the people that need to be in hospital.  In some circumstances the layout or physical space available may mean only one visitor can be present at a time. If this is the case this will be discussed with the patient and their identified visitors to ensure that everyone is aware.

Designated Visitor:

Someone chosen by the patient to be their named visitor.  This may be a relative or friend.  It might not always be the next of kin.  We recommend this person should be the main communication link.  The designated visitor is in addition to any essential carer/personal assistant/support required for care. If you have been nominated, a member of staff from the team caring for your family member or friend will contact you.

Essential Visits: 

An essential visit is one where it is imperative that a relative or friend is allowed to see their loved one in a number of exceptional circumstances.

The following visits are deemed essential:

The following visits are deemed essential:

  • A birth partner supporting a partner during hospital visits
  • For a person receiving end-of-life care
  • To support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • To accompany a child in hospital.

It is important to note that these examples of essential visiting are intended to be illustrative and not exhaustive.

A quick guide to all the tiers and how they align to hospital visiting can be viewed here.

Further information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Visitor Passes

In order to support visiting within Aberdeen Maternity hospital, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Grays Hospital, visitor passes have been introduced.

Anyone identified as the essential or designated visitor for a patient in any of the above three hospital settings will be provided with a visitor pass.  This will be discussed with the patient and the visitor prior to any planned visit. 

Visiting is by prearranged appointment only.

Visiting in Person?  Please read the guide relevant to the hospital you are visiting or contact a member of staff on the ward.

Virtual Visiting – Using Technology to Visit

iPads are available for patients to contact loved-ones and friends in most ward areas. Virtual Visiting sessions can be organised by contacting the nurse in charge of the ward.  For more information please email:

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

7 Things people should know before visiting: